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Old 15-05-2019, 09:05   #1
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Iridium Go

I am considering buying an Iridium Go hotspot. What I need advice on is whether or not I need to purchase the Marine package as well. Does the Iridium Go work fine without it? We are going to be doing the Baja Ha Ha and need a communication device. Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
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Old 15-05-2019, 09:39   #2
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Re: Iridium Go

personally, I would rent one. A new, much faster model should be out in the next 12 months. An external antenna will improve signal strength. For voice, it might not matter as much as for weather.
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Old 15-05-2019, 16:45   #3
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Re: Iridium Go

For the Haha, an inReach works very well. Good cell signals on mainland Mexico, sea of Cortez not so much.
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Old 15-05-2019, 16:52   #4
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Re: Iridium Go

I sailed from St Maarten to Virginia via Culebra and the Bahamas with the iridiumGo sitting in the saloon by the window. I could download the weather, waves etc in a matter of minutes. I could text without issue, calls were sketchy, perhaps would have been better with the outdoor antenna. I still haven't put up the marine antenna.

If you have never used one before it's a good idea to use it well in advance of the trip. A little glitch I noticed was that if people try to access your iridium wifi they can lock you out.

The predict wind customer support is tops and walked me thru any problems I had.
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Old 17-05-2019, 21:17   #5
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Re: Iridium Go

We sailed from Germany to Australia using the Go as our main off source comms device. No antenna, worked really well, there were one or two dead spots, but you just give it a go 10mins later and you’re fine.
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Old 18-05-2019, 07:10   #6
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Re: Iridium Go

Quote:
Originally Posted by DockDoc View Post
I sailed from St Maarten to Virginia via Culebra and the Bahamas with the iridiumGo sitting in the saloon by the window. I could download the weather, waves etc in a matter of minutes. I could text without issue, calls were sketchy, perhaps would have been better with the outdoor antenna. I still haven't put up the marine antenna.

If you have never used one before it's a good idea to use it well in advance of the trip. A little glitch I noticed was that if people try to access your iridium wifi they can lock you out.

The predict wind customer support is tops and walked me thru any problems I had.
This is my experience also. I just set it near a window, but really it worked pretty well anywhere. Worst case, just set it on the cockpit table. IMO the antenna is not needed. And, Predict Wind support and application was awesome.
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Old 18-05-2019, 09:48   #7
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Re: Iridium Go

I bought a Go for our trip south to the Bahamas. I also bought the marine package but never installed it. The coax cable is really fat, stiff, and long. I tried a different coax recommended by a RF “expert” and didn’t see much better results than the built in. The built in worked fine for downloading weather, email; saildocs, and data for my PredictWind subscription. Occasionally I felt like I needed to take it out of the cabin for better results which for me meant longer 4-5 signal strength. I found phone not really usable.

That being said I can make you a good deal on the marine package w/out the Go. if you are interested.
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Old 21-08-2019, 10:51   #8
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Re: Iridium Go rates and plans

Iridium rates and plans
just got out of the phone with
BlueCosmo
they offers several plans according with minutes used
seems reasonable
what plans are you using?
thanks
David
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Old 21-08-2019, 11:09   #9
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Re: Iridium Go rates and plans

Quote:
Originally Posted by davil View Post
Iridium rates and plans
just got out of the phone with
BlueCosmo
they offers several plans according with minutes used
seems reasonable
what plans are you using?
thanks
David

You can't get the Go plan with unlimited data, unless you have the actual Go device. That is in my opinion the bargain of the century -- $139 per month for all the data you want, and some number of voice minutes (100?).


I spent last summer in the Arctic and LOVED our Iridium Go. The data is extremely narrow bandwidth but if you use it intelligently you can do absolutely everything you really need to communicate with the outside world and receive weather and navigational information. I got GRIBS through SailDocs four times a day, Danish Hydrographic Office ice charts, and all kinds of other things, and carried out all the communication I desired. I used hardly any of the voice minutes because it was so convenient to communicate by email. Besides the unlimited data, you also get unlimited SMS messages, so you can use that to send and receive short messages to/from anyone with a mobile phone.



I bought the marine kit but never installed it. As others have commented it works pretty well without it, but you will normally need to keep it topsides without any kind of obstruction to the sky. I think buying and installing the marine kit would be worthwhile, but it's not essential.
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Old 21-08-2019, 11:29   #10
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Re: Iridium Go

thank you very much for taking the time
will go ahead and order today
prices seem quite standard between providers,wonder if makes a difference between a given provider or PredictWind? as far as service?
thanks again
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Old 21-08-2019, 23:35   #11
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Re: Iridium Go

Dockhead:

I’m currently trying to download Gribs and other docs through my Iridium Go.

I receive Gribs from Saildocs, but can’t find a way to export then to OpenCPN. TIFFs and Jpegs from NOAA, come in Unencoded as a very long ascii string, how can I convert them into readable graphics?

Thanks for your help
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Old 21-08-2019, 23:49   #12
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Re: Iridium Go

Always used the Go! in the cockpit, always HD reasonable reception but occasionally it took ages to download PredictWind reports. I bought myself be used so never got an antenna, won’t spend money on it now.

Agree with Dockhead, the unlimited package is the best and one can have it for short periods, saving money on long-term subscriptions.

@ johnjuliano - in my experience the Go! should not be seen as an “internet connection”. When it comes to downloading files of any sort, it’s real slow and inefficient.
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Old 21-08-2019, 23:59   #13
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Re: Iridium Go

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjuliano View Post
Dockhead:

I’m currently trying to download Gribs and other docs through my Iridium Go.

I receive Gribs from Saildocs, but can’t find a way to export then to OpenCPN. TIFFs and Jpegs from NOAA, come in Unencoded as a very long ascii string, how can I convert them into readable graphics?

Thanks for your help

GRIBs come from Saildocs in standard format -- .grb or .grb2 files. Just point the GRIB plugin in OpenCPN to the folder where you put them and it will work.


TIFFs and JPEGs should be coming as TIFFs and JPEGs and definitely not as ASCII characters; perhaps you are stripping off the file extension? Make sure the filename ends in .tiff or .jpeg. And you know that the OpenCPN plugin doesn't read these, right? See: https://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/tiff.shtml
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Old 22-08-2019, 01:22   #14
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Re: Iridium Go

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOffice View Post
personally, I would rent one. A new, much faster model should be out in the next 12 months. An external antenna will improve signal strength. For voice, it might not matter as much as for weather.
This might good advice. I have it from reliable sources that they (Iridiums partners like Thales) are working on smaller and battery powered Next terminals now. I suspect they are probably 18 months away, and it is still uncertain if it will target a market similar to that of the Go, and at what cost the plans will come.
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Old 22-08-2019, 07:24   #15
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Re: Iridium Go

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
GRIBs come from Saildocs in standard format -- .grb or .grb2 files. Just point the GRIB plugin in OpenCPN to the folder where you put them and it will work.


TIFFs and JPEGs should be coming as TIFFs and JPEGs and definitely not as ASCII characters; perhaps you are stripping off the file extension? Make sure the filename ends in .tiff or .jpeg. And you know that the OpenCPN plugin doesn't read these, right? See: https://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/tiff.shtml
Therein lies the problem, the save button on android does not offer a location and hunting with the file manager isn’t finding them.

Regarding Tiffs and Jpegs –*they are not for OpenCPN, just for me to look at.

What tablet are you using? Are you using Iridium Mail and web? (I have been using this method when I have a cellular or WiFi connection – non-iridium – for more than six years. Iridium is the new wrinkle. I have used Predictwind via Iridium for the last 18 months, but now I want to load OpenCPN via Iridium.)

All ideas are welcome.
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